There's a big battle brewing over compounded hormones.
Stung by a crackdown on unproven claims about the safety and effectiveness of medications made by pharmacies to treat menopause, supporters of the drugs have launched a lobbying campaign aimed at the Food and Drug Administration.
Last week the HOME (Hands Off My Estrogens!) Coalition, a group based in tiny Edinburg, Va., placed a full-page ad in five newspapers, including USA Today and the Wall Street Journal, accusing regulators of being hostile to "natural" hormonal medicines made according to a doctor's prescription by a compounding pharmacy.
The ads urge women and their physicians to e-mail the White House and members of Congress asking them to protect patients' access to medications they claim are "bio-identical" to those found in the body. A key ingredient in these made-to-order drugs is estriol, a form of estrogen that the coalition claims is safe and protects against breast cancer -- but that the FDA says is unapproved.